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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Cody Ceci

Cody Ceci, D

Birthplace: Orleans, Ontario, 12/21/93
Bio: 6’2, 208 lbs., R
Ottawa 67s, OHL
Rankings: ISS – 9; CSS – 6 (NA)

The Skinny: A ‘Jack of All Trades’ in the 2012 blueline talent pool, Cody Ceci is a big, mobile, two-way defenseman whose production this season with Ottawa has turned some heads.

Already in his third OHL season, Cody Ceci has grown from a player many initially pegged as an underwhelming defense-first prospect to a solid two-way threat. A borderline first-rounder to start the year, his sixty-point performance has opened eyes and places him second among OHL blueliners, only behind Dougie Hamilton of Niagara. This newfound production has him very safely in the top half of many Day One draft boards.

Ceci’s hallmark is his minute-eating: The 6’2 200-plus pound blueliner plays in all scenarios, in all manpower-situations for the 67s. The third-year defender is a capable distributor and triggerman on the powerplay.

A solid skating game and excellent passing abilities mean that Ceci works well as a puck-mover, whether throwing the puck to teammates or jumping up into the rush himself. On the attack, Ceci brings a powerful shot from the point while still capable of playing the role of quarterback.

Defensively, he’s intelligent and strong enough to play a shut-down role. His size and reach allow him to efficiently dispossess opponents and fill passing lanes. With solid vision and anticipation, Ceci has improved significantly on the back end this season.

Even with his improvement to-date many scouts worry about his fit at the next level. Some see his playmaking and puck-moving capabilities as merely good enough for the OHL level of play while not being satisfactory at a professional level. Some put forth similar arguments regarding his attacking zone performances – in particular that he doesn’t have the skill to QB a powerplay in the NHL.

Furthermore, many recognize that Ceci isn’t an overtly physical player despite his impressive dimensions and point to his production this season as a product of his increased development time (as it is his third season in the “O”) inferring he might be close to his peak potential upside.

Even with the many doubts and doubters surrounding the Orleans, Ontario native – he should still find a suitor in the middle of the first round. Despite some of his issues who wouldn’t want to take a flyer on an eighteen year-old, almost point-per-game defenseman with size and mobility?

Ideal Fits: Teams looking for a safe and solid two-way defenseman in the mid-first: Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Calgary, Ottawa and Washington

Why Your Team Will Take Him: Because he’s close to “can’t-miss” because of his size and polished two-way game.

Why Your Team Will Pass on Him: Because many perceive his ‘upside’ to be short of first-pairing potential; because, despite his impressive stat-line, he’s not a dynamic offensive defenseman.

Strengths: Size, Mobility, Puck-Moving, Hockey IQ, Production

Weaknesses/Concerns: Physicality, Upside, Consistency

Projection: Middle-Pairing Two-Way Defenseman (10g, 45p potential)

Predicted 2012 NHL Draft Range: First Round, 9-16

Overall Rank: 13

N.A. Rank: 11

Defenseman Rank: 7

OHL Rank: 5

Canadian National Rank: 6

Bob is the Boston Bruins correspondent for The Hockey Writers and a credentialed member of the Providence Bruins' Media.

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